AFF Suzuki Cup 2008 update !!!

PHUKET (8 Dec 2008) – Vietnam edged past Malaysia 3-2 on the second matchday of Group B of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2008 to brighten their chances of making the next round of the championship.

The Vietnamese, who had conceded a 2-0 loss to hosts Thailand in the first game, took the lead in the 17th minute off Pham Thanh Luong before Nguyen Vu Phong added a brace with goals in the 72nd and 86th minute.

Malaysia scored both their goals off Indra Putra Mahayuddin in the 20th and 85th minute.

"It was a very difficult game but it was very good to win," added Henrique Calisto, the head coach for Vietnam.

Given the importance of the match, both teams started off a lot more cautious as they assess each other's parameters of strength and weakness.

But it took Malaysia less than two minutes to test Vietnam keeper Duong Hong Son when striker Mohd Safee Sali blasted in a shot which was denied.

Vietnam then press forward and in the 17th minute, they took the lead when Nguyen Vu Phong rifled in a shot from 25metres out past a rooted Mohd Helmi Eliza Elias to send the few hundred Vietnam faithful all dressed in red to a frenzy.

But their lead did not last long.

Malaysia strung two passes together and off a shot from Mohd Zaquan Adha which came off the crossbar, Indra Putra Mahayuddin was waiting in the wings to slot the ball home.

The goal drew cries of off-side from the Vietnam bench but referee P. Pandian stood by his decision and following the incessant arguing from Vietnam coach Henrique Calisto, duly sent the Portuguese to the stand.

The game took a low key after the emphatic two goals with Indra again coming close which was parried over by Hong Son in the 33rd minute while some time later, Zaquan almost doubled the lead for the Malaysian but his attempt was denied by a recovering defender.

Vietnam finished the first half with a grounder from Phan Van Tai Em but Mohd Helmi was not about to be beaten for a second time.

The pace changed little well into the second half as both teams tried to look for the spaces to exploit.

And while Malaysia created several clear chances with Safee's attempt coming off the crossbar in the 71st minute, there was no denying Vietnam the lead a minute later when Vu Phong blasted in the goal off a cross from the centre of the park.

But Malaysia fought back in the 85th minute when Indra Putra Mahayuddin swerved in a freekick to put both teams on level terms.

And while Malaysia were entertaining thoughts that they would at least get a point from this tie, Helmi conceded a mistake a minute later when he misdjudged a lob from Vu Phong for the ball to bounce into an open goal.

"All three goals were the results of keeper mistake," said B. Sathianathan, the head coach for Malaysia.

MALAYSIA: Mohd Helmi Eliza Elias, Mohd Asraruddin Putra Omar, Norhafiz Zamani Misbah, Mohd Aidil Zafuan, Mohd Daudsu Jamaluddin, Mohd Amirulhadi Zainal, Hairuddin Omar, Mohd Shukor Adan, Indra Putra Mahayuddin, Mohd Safee Sali, Mohd Zaquan Adha.

VIETNAM: Duong Hong Son, Doan Viet Cuong, Vu Nhu Thanh, Nguyen Minh Duc, Le Cong Vinh, Tran Truong Giang, Nguyen Minh Phuong, Huynh Quang Thang, Pham Thanh Luong, Nguyen Viet Thang, Phan Van Tai Em.

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